“Mind your language!”
That was what parents used to tell their kids to warn them not to swear. In the last 20 or 30 years however, some people in the disabled community seem to have taken that saying even more seriously than ever before.
“Disabled”, “handicapped”, “special needs”, “differently abled”, ” handicapable”. All these words and phrases have been used over the years to describe those of us whose physical abilities differ from most people’s. Then there’s the very long-winded “people first” language, as in “person with a disability” or “person with special needs” and so on.
My birthday’s coming up soon. Looking in the mirror, I seem to notice a new wrinkle on my face almost every day, lately, although that might be just the thought of getting another year older making my imagination work overtime!
It’s strange how when we’re young, some of us can’t wait to be grown up. But when we become adults, people often talk about birthdays as if they are something to be afraid of. I heard someone the other day say, “I’ll be ‘the big 3-0’ soon!”, with a frightened look on her face. It made me take notice of her words, because when this birthday has passed, I’ll be ‘the big a-lot-more-than-that’.
Birthdays measure time passing; and with time, people get older. It’s just the way it is. But are those changes we go through as we age something to be frightened of?
My favourite way to pass the time when I’m feeling down is with colouring-in books. I find when I’m paying close attention to the pictures I can feel myself relaxing with each different colour I add.
This morning, my husband and I sat down together and watched a bit of MTV. Now, I’m getting a bit too old for that sort of thing, I freely admit it – but as I love music, and haven’t caught up with the latest fashions in that area for a very long time, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at what’s “new”.
I belong to quite a few Facebook groups based around disability, and I’ve noticed one topic in particular that keeps coming up – and that’s romance. It’s no surprise I think. From childhood, people are convinced by book and movie writers that it’s the ultimate dream; find a handsome Prince (or pretty Princess!), get married, live happily ever after.
I’ve always been fascinated by words. I was very keen on reading when I was a kid, and whenever I found a word I liked, I’d make the most of it, like good food – rolling it around on my tongue, enjoying the sounds the letters made.
As I wrote this, Father’s Day was fast approaching. It’s always a painful reminder of our long and, in the end, unsuccessful struggle to have a baby. So altogether, not a particularly happy day in the Frittmann household.